Domestic Violence in Florida
The domestic violence laws in Florida are very broad in terms of whom they protect. Those covered by the law include spouses, ex-spouses, significant others, relatives, and parents. Thus, one does not have to be married to an individual to be charged with domestic violence.
Also, such cases do not just focus on men committing violence against women. In Florida, various crimes are categorized under the term domestic violence, including:
- Aggravated assault
- Aggravated battery
- Aggravated stalking
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual assault
Misdemeanor or Felony
Whether one is charged with a misdemeanor or a felony will depend on the type of alleged crime as well as its severity. For example, battery may be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor or as a third-degree felony. The nature of the battery will be used to determine the charge. Misdemeanor battery involves the intention of causing harm, whereas felony battery involves the intent of ending a victim’s life.
A first-degree misdemeanor conviction will result in a sentence ranging from 60 days to a year. If an offender is found guilty of a third-degree felony charge, then he or she may face up to five years in prison.
What to Do if Charged
If you are charged with domestic violence in the State of Florida, it is very important that you:
- Do not resist arrest
- Cooperate with law enforcement
- Protect your Miranda rights
Although you should be cooperative with police, the attorneys at The Law Office of Paul J. Donnelly, P.A., warn that you should never give up your Miranda rights. These rights protect those who have been charged with a crime. When you are read your Miranda warning, you will be informed that you have the right to:
- Remain silent during police questioning
- Meet with an attorney prior to questioning
- Have your attorney present anytime you are interrogated
If you waive these rights and answer questions posed by law enforcement, anything you say or do can and will be used against you in court.